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Maybelline polishes Thailand base with exclusive mobile gifts

L’Oréal brand Maybelline is launching limited-time flash sales of exclusive products in Thailand, working with the Line social networking application to increase its mobile commerce presence in the country.

Maybelline is promoting the campaign by telling Thai users they will be the first to own the new cosmetic product, which will not be released to retailers until next year. Maybelline and the Line, in partnership with aCommerce, are utilizing mobile and marketing to activate consumers’ need to possess the new and untried.

“There is a marketing funnel that starts with building awareness and interest,” said Dale Carr, CEO of LeadBolt, Los Angeles. “Especially when buying decisions are involved, there is a point at which the consumer is wide open and receptive to suggestions.

“Next, they get into research mode,” he said. “Then they purchase.

“Different platforms cater to the various phases of the awareness, consideration and purchase phases,” Mr. Carr said.

Mr. Carr is affiliated with neither Maybelline or the Line. He commented based on his expertise.

Maybelline, the Line and aCommerce could not be reached by press deadline.

Freshen up
To take part in the Flash sale, Thailand users must add “Line Flash Sale” to their Line app’s Friends list. To do so, a user taps “More,” which is one of the listings on the menu bar at the bottom of the app on a mobile device’s screen.

That opens another screen, which includes options such as “Sticker Shop,” “Line Apps” and “Games.” The Thailand user must tap “Official Accounts” and then tap “Line Flash Sale.”

Users who did not initially register Thailand as their country/location will have the option to tap “+ Select another country” and then tap “Thailand,” which will direct them to the official accounts page where they can tap “Line Flash Sale” and add it to their friends.

Since the flash sales are limited offers, it is possible they may end abruptly.

The Line app is free and is available for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices.

The Line mobile app

Speak out
An increasing number of brands and companies are launching similar campaigns that expand their presence on social media.

For example, Stella Artois is collaborating with Facebook to offer a free gift and chance to donate to, a charity (see story).

In September, Visa ran a similar campaign as part of a promotion for the National Football League (see story).

The Line is a made-in-Japan messaging service, which includes phone, chat, video and audio features. Line users reside in more than 230 countries, including Thailand, Taiwan, Russia and Spain.

The app competes with other social networking platforms, such as Facebook, which has more than 1 billion users worldwide.

In January 2013, the Line app celebrated reaching its 100 million-user mark by offering users a free sticker, which they could download from the app’s Sticker Shop.

Exclusive offers, freebies, limited-time runs and chances to share the information with friends all are features, which enliven consumers’ interest.

“The typical consumer is exposed to and interacts with several touch-points throughout the day,” Mr. Carr said. “Also, very few consumers are sold at first sight – a consumer usually needs to hear an ad message multiple times before they advance to the next step of the funnel.

“Mobile is a useful, relevant and personal platform, but it is one of several channels marketers can employ,” Mr. Carr said.

Final Take
Kari Jensen is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York